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Berkshire County, Massachusetts
Genealogy, History & Facts

Berkshire County, Massachusetts Facts

Berkshire County

When was Berkshire County, MA Created?
Berkshire County was founded on April 21, 1761 from Hampshire County. The county was named for the English county of Berkshire.

What is the County Seat of Berkshire County, MA?
The County Seat is located in Pittsfield and the county government was abolished on July 1, 2000

What counties are adjacent to Berkshire County, MA?
Bordering Counties are Bennington County, Vermont (north), Franklin County (northeast), Hampshire County (east), Hampden County (southeast), Litchfield County, Connecticut (south), Columbia County, New York (west), Rensselaer County, New York (northwest).

What cities and towns are in Berkshire County, MA?
Cities and towns located in the County include Adams, Alford, Becket, Cheshire, Clarksburg, Cummington, Dalton, Egremont, Florida, Great Barrington, Hancock, Hinsdale, Housatonic, Lanesborough, Lee, Lenox, Monterey, Mount Washington, New Ashford, New Marlborough, North Adams, Otis, Peru, Pittsfield, Richmond, Sandisfield, Savoy, Sheffield, Stockbridge, Tyringham, Washington, West Stockbridge, Williamstown and Windsor.

Berkshire County, MA Vital Records

Where can find Berkshire County Birth, marriage, Divorce and Death Records?
Berkshire County vital records can be found at the Massachusetts Office of Vital Records has copies of birth, marriage, divorce and death records. There is a fee for each copy requested. Please refer to the information to the Statewide Vital Records in Massachusetts for current fees and application process. Vital Records have been registered in Massachusetts since 1635. Statewide collection began in 1841. There is a fee for each copy requested. Records for events that occurred from 1841-1910 are available at the State Archives.

Berkshire County Town Clerks has copies of vital records (birth, marriage, divorce and death records). Clerks respond to inquiries regarding vital records, since most have indexes available.

You can search online for Berkshire County Birth, Marriage, Divorce or Death Records. You can also Order Electronically Online or can download an application for Massachusetts Birth Certificate, Marriage Certificate, Death Certificate Applications to mail.

Berkshire County, MA Census Records

What Berkshire County, MA census records are available?
There are many types of census records for Berkshire County guide you in researching your family tree. Federal Population Schedules are available for 1790, 1800, 1810, 1820, 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880 (free index), 1890 (fragment), 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940.

Berkshire Co. Mortality Schedules can be obtained for 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. Berkshire Co. Industry and Agriculture Schedules can be found for 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. Berkshire Co. Union Veterans Schedules can be found for 1890.

Massachusetts state censuses exist for the years 1855 and 1865. There is free down-loadable and also printable census forms to help you with your research. See Also Massachusetts Census Records Research Guide

Berkshire County, MA Courthouse and Government Records

Berkshire County Courthouse

What genealogical records can I find in the Berkshire County Courthouse?
The below facts shows exactly what death, marriage, birth, property, wills, and court records are typically in Berkshire County. The years listed below are the first noted records with this county. For Town Records contact the Town Clerk (Helpful Telephone Listings for your City/Town Hall). See Also Massachusetts Corthouse Records Research Guide.

  • Berkshire County Register of Deeds is the place where all transactions of a Real Property nature are recorded so that the public is made aware of their existence. Deeds, mortgages, tax liens, water liens, declaration of homestead and many other kinds of documents regarding the title and ownership of real estate are noted permanently in official records.
    • Northern District, 65 Park Street, Adams, MA 01220; (413) 743-0035; The Northern District includes the towns of Adams, Cheshire, Clarksburg, Florida, Hancock, Lanesboro, New Ashford, North Adams, Savoy, Williamstown and Windsor.
    • Middle District, 44 Bank Row, Pittsfield, MA 01201; (413) 443-7438; The Middle District includes the towns of Becket, Dalton, Hinsdale, Lee, Lenox, Otis, Peru, Pittsfield, Richmond, Stockbridge, Tyringham and Washington.
    • Southern District, 334 Main Street, Great Barrington, MA 01230; (413) 528-0146; The Southern District includes the towns of Alford, Egremont, Great Barrington, Monterey, Mount Washington, New Marlborough, Sandisfield, Sheffield and West Stockbridge.
    • Land Records: 1761
  • Berkshire County Clerk of Probate Court has many responsibilities which include the administration of estates, probate of wills, and the appointment of guardians, have been under the jurisdiction of the courts since the 1630s. County courts and later, county judges of probate, were responsible for these functions until 1783, when the probate courts were established. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the probate and family courts were given jurisdiction over adoptions, divorces, name changes, and domestic relations.
    • Address: 44 Bank Row, Pittsfield, MA 01201
    • Phone: (413) 442-6941
    • Probate Records: 1761 
  • Berkshire County Clerk of Courts has jurisdiction over all civil, criminal, and equity cases.
    • Address: 76 East Street, Pittsfield, MA 01201
    • Phone: (413) 499-7487
    • Court Records: 1761 
  • Berkshire County Town Clerks have tax lists that may still be available at the town office. Earlier taxes for the towns exist as well.
  • Records of the Town of Lee from its incorporation to A.D. 1801 : all the extant records of the town clerks, town treasurers, Ho
  • New Ashford, Massachusetts Land Owners, 1842-1900
  • Massachusetts Name Changes, 1780-1892
  • BLM Land Records

Berkshire County, MA Societies and Family History Resources

What genealogical and historical societies, archives, museums, associations and libraries are available for Berkshire County, MA?
A list of Berkshire County Historical  and Genealogical Societies, Libraries, Archives. See also list of Statewide Massachusetts Archives, Historical & Genealogical Societies.

Where can I connect with other Berkshire County, MA Researchers through message boards and forums?

What other genealogical resources are available in Berkshire County, MA?
The following are web links to Genealogy, Records and Resources pertaining to Berkshire County. A lot of these genealogy links fall into 3 categories: Business oriented Sites, Personal Sites or Organization Sites. Some have free access some call for a cost. This is just a collection which has been compiled or submitted. I do not recommend or promote one genealogy site above another.

Berkshire Co. MA Books, Newspapers & Publications

Berkshire Co. MA Cemeteries & Church Records

Berkshire Co. MA Family Websites, Pictures & Histories

Berkshire Co. MA General and History Websites

Berkshire Co. MA Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers

Berkshire Co. MA Military Records

Berkshire Co. MA Schools & Directories

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